Khan: Manny Pacquiao inspired me to victory and I would love to help him beat Hatton

Amir Khan has hailed Manny Pacquiao as the inspiration behind his brilliant win against Marco Antonio Barrera and admits he would 'love' to return the favour by helping his training partner beat Ricky Hatton.

The 22-year-old dismantled Mexican great Barrera to record a fifth-round technical-decision victory in Manchester last night and atone for his shocking knockout defeat by Breidis Prescott in September.

Khan produced a slick, technically brilliant performance to ensure he was comfortably ahead when the fight was stopped in the fifth round because of a cut above Barrera's left eye, apparently caused by an accidental clash in the first.

Amir Khan

Amir Khan and his trainer Freddie Roach celebrate after victory over Marco Antonio Barrera

The Bolton fighter was quick to acknowledge the contribution of new trainer Freddie Roach as well as sparring partner Pacquiao, who also trains under the American.

After the fight, Khan - who described the win as 'easy' - said: 'Barrera landed a few left hooks to the body, a few to the head and a few right hands.

'That's boxing - it's going to happen - but I felt so sharp and kept moving.

'It was the same way Manny beat him. He made it easy, hit him and moved, hit him and moved.

'When I was speaking to Manny he said that's the way to beat him - and that's what we did.

'I spoke to him in the changing room after the fight - he was watching it in America, and he was over the moon.

'It has paid off by listening to the right people.'

Amir Khan

Amir Khan was in impressive form against Marco Antonio Barrera in Manchester

With Pacquiao taking on Mancunian Hatton in May, Khan admits he has split loyalties.

However, the 2004 Olympic lightweight silver medallist is happy to return to Los Angeles to help whip his Filipino friend into shape.

'Yes, it does me good as well,' said Khan.

'He's the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world - and if I can handle him and spar really well against him, then it's going to take me to the next level.

'I'd love to help him, because he's a friend. We have a good chat; we go for a run together in the mountains and stuff.

'He helps me out with some good advice, and it's good to have someone to look up to.'

Khan completely outclassed three-weight world champion Barrera, who looked every one of his 35 years.

Amir Khan

Amir Khan would love to help his training partner Manny Pacquiao beat Ricky Hatton

Barrera had suffered a cut in the first as he took several hard left hooks and a decent right and ended the round with a bad gash over his left eye - close to an old wound suffered in his last fight.

Khan maintained his superiority throughout, and when referee Dave Parris asked the ringside doctor to take another look at the wound in the fifth round, the end finally came.

Many, including Khan himself, thought he had won with a technical knockout.

But it soon became clear the cut was adjudged to have come from an accidental clash of heads, meaning the decision would come down to the scorecards up to that point - Khan getting the verdict with scores of 50-44 and 50-45 twice.

Had the fight been stopped within the first four rounds because of the cut, however, the fight would have been declared a no-contest.

Earlier on the Manchester card, Nicky Cook's first defence of the WBO super-featherweight title ended in a fourth-round knockout defeat against unbeaten Puerto Rican Roman Martinez.

Welsh cruiserweight Enzo Maccarinelli was stunned by a spectacular ninth-round knockout at the hands of unknown Ola Afolabi in their fight for the WBO interim title.

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